National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Bishops pull out of civil rights group

 |  NCR Today

On May 19, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) pulled out of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition group founded in 1950, because that group chose to support the nomination of Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court.

In announcing the withdrawal, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre NY, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Peace, said the following:

" ... The interests of the Leadership Conference and those of the USCCB have diverged as the LCCR has moved beyond advocacy of traditional civil rights to advocacy of positions which do not reflect the principles and policies of the bishops’ Conference. In recent years, the Leadership Conference has joined others in advocating or opposing nominees for the Supreme Court, a practice which clearly contradicts USCCB policy and compromises the principled positions of the bishops. The latest example of this is the LCCR support of the Solicitor General’s nomination to the Supreme Court. ..."

At the same time the USCCB reiterated its commitment to oppose discrimination based on race, religion, sex, ethnicity, disabling condition, or age, and said that these are grave injustices and affronts to human dignity.

What is not clear here is the reason for making this nomination into a litmus test for membership. If it is because this is a Supreme Court nomination, why did the bishops not withdraw when other nominations were championed or opposed by the LCCR? Or perhaps it is because of Elena Kagan’s views (still vague in the public eye) on issues such as abortion and gay rights.

NCR-issue-christmas-icon.jpgGive a Christmas gift that lasts all year. Give the gift of NCR!

The bishops have some clarifying to do.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Friends of NCR 300x80 web ad.jpg

NCR Email Alerts